I think it was The Adventures of Pete and Pete that once averred that barbecue has to be messy in order to taste good. While I completely agree when it comes to the act of actually easting some great grilled food, I don’t necessarily think that BBQ preparation has to make a mess. I’m not one of these every recipe has to be super-easy people, but recently I figured this quick-and-simple sauce out and I thought it was pretty darn good. Maybe it’s better to say that I love true all-day outdoor country-fair-in-the-backyard BBQ, but you can whip up something inside with the stove and oven that’s cookout-inspired and very yummy sans all the trouble. Recipe follows:
- 3/4 cup dark balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 ketchup
- 1/4 brown sugar
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp (or more!) pureed chilis in adobo
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let this god, stirring often for at least 20 minutes. The sauce needs to be very thick. If it gets too dry too quickly, add more vinegar. The pureed chilis in adobo may seem like a pain, but they make the sauce. They are very hot so proceed with caution; if you’re unsure about them, add 1/2 tbsp and taste, and if you can take it, add the rest, or indeed, even more.
Once thick, brush chicken thighs or other pieces with the sauce, top and bottom using a silicone brush and bake in a 425 F oven until internal temp exceeds 170 F. At least once (and better yet, two or three times) during the cooking, open the oven and re-apply the sauce with the brush. Once the chicken’s done, let it rest for 5 minutes and add more sauce as desired. Serve with steamed corn on the cob or baked beans.